Booking Bobby Rush
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Bobby Rush Agency Booking Profile
Bobby Rush’s latest two albums, this year’s Grammy nominated funk-infused Decisions and last year’s Grammy nominated and Blues Music Award winning album Down in Louisiana is the work of a funky fire-breathing legend, both exhibiting one of his many unique layers. The latter’s 11 songs revel in the grit, grind and soul that’s been the blues innovator’s trademark since the 1960s, when he stood shoulder to shoulder on the stages of Chicago with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and other giants. At 77, Rush still has an energy level that fits his name. He’s a prolific songwriter and one of the most vital live performers in the blues, able to execute daredevil splits on stage with the finesse of a young James Brown while singing and playing harmonica and guitar. Those talents have earned him multiple Blues Music Awards including Soul Blues Album of the Year, Acoustic Album of the Year, and, almost perennially, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year.a prolific songwriter and one of the most vital live performers in the blues, able to execute daredevil splits on stage After more than sixty years of recording and touring, Rush is still doing over 200 shows a year from Mississippi to Japan and California to Los Angeles, and headlining major festivals and concerts for upwards of 20,000 people a night. Rush’s stage show is built around big-bottomed female dancers, ribald humor and hip-shaking grooves have made Rush today’s most popular blues attraction among African-American audiences. With more than 100 albums on his résumé, according to Rolling Stone magazine he’s the reigning king of the Chitlin’ Circuit, the network of clubs, theaters, halls and juke joints that first sprang up in the 1920s to cater to black audiences in the bad old days of segregation. A range of historic entertainers that includes Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, B.B. King, Nat “King” Cole and Ray Charles emerged from this milieu. And Rush is proud to bear the torch for that tradition, and more. Rush quickly moved on to an actual six-string and the harmonica. He started playing juke joints in his teens, wearing a fake mustache so owners would think him old enough to perform in their clubs. In 1953 his family relocated to Chicago, where his musical education shifted to hyperspeed under the spell of Waters, Wolf, Williamson and the rest of the big dogs on the scene. Rush ran errands for slide six-string king Elmore James and got guitar lessons from Howlin’ Wolf. He traded harmonica licks with Little Walter and begin sitting in with his heroes. In the ’60s Rush became a bandleader in order to realize the fresh funky soul-blues sound that he was developing in his head. In 2003 he established his own label, Deep Rush Records, and has released nine titles under that imprint including his 2003 DVD+CD set Live At Ground Zero and 2007’s solo Raw. That disc led to his current relationship with Thirty Tigers, which distributed Raw and his two more recent albums, 2009’s Blind Snake and 2011’s Show You A Good Time (which took Best Soul Blues Album of the year at the 2012 BMAs), before signing him as an artist for Down in Louisiana. As Rush continues to be inventive in his music with latest releases Down in Louisiana and Decisions, he still has a big desire to cross over and further expand his audience. “But no matter how much I cross over, whether it’s to a larger white audience or to college listeners or fans of Americana, I’ll never cross out who I am and where I’ve come from,” Rush promises. “My music’s always gonna be funky and honest, and it’s always gonna sound like Bobby Rush.”
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SME Booking Agency
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